7 Tips for a Successful Freshman Year

Posted September 16, 2012

Freshman year is one of the most exciting times of a young person’s life. This is the time when students dabble in their newfound freedom and really come into their own. But even as you’re figuring things out in the first year, it’s crucial that you do well in school. Developing poor habits and making bad grades can cause you to lose financial aid, scholarships, or worse, get you expelled. Before you head off to college this fall, check out these seven tips for a successful freshman year.

  1. Go to class:

    One of the best and only ways to succeed in school and move on to your sophomore year is to go to class. Sure, you might be able to skip a few 8 a.m. classes here and there, but not going at all is going to cost you big time. Skipping class will cause you to fall behind in more ways than one. You may miss a difficult lecture, or worse, a pop quiz or lab that cannot be made up. Fight the urge to go back to bed and get yourself to class.

  2. Get involved:

    Everything is so new and exciting freshman year, which is why it’s the perfect time to get involved in extracurricular activities. Most colleges have numerous clubs, organizations, and leaderships groups you can join your first year. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, create a group yourself. Your involvement will help you make friends and feel more connected to your school, as well as give you something productive to do with your free time.

  3. Develop good study habits:

    It’s important to develop good study habits as early as possible because they will stick with you throughout college. Go to the library to do the majority of your studying because it is quiet and there are fewer distractions than in your bedroom. Set realistic study goals and try to stick to them.

  4. Do not procrastinate:

    It’s far easier to procrastinate studying or doing school work than doing it ahead of time. There will be always be distractions and fun activities standing in between your studies and social life, but the key is knowing when to say no. If you want to succeed in class and avoid stressful all-nighters, do not procrastinate on your school work. Set aside study time and reward yourself when you’ve completed big tasks, like completing a project.

  5. Talk to your professors:

    There’s no doubt about it, college professors can be very intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from talking to them when you have a question or concern. Your professors want you to succeed in school, and most have designated office hours to assist with school work, talk about grades, or further explain class material. Don’t wait for your professor to approach you first if you’re lost or flunking a class, because that day may never come.

  6. Take good care of yourself:

    Just because you have all this newfound freedom doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to your health. Freshman need to eat right, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to maintain their health and succeed in school. It’s OK to have fun, but don’t overdo the partying. If you take good care of yourself, you won’t have to miss classes or skip out on fun activities.

  7. Use your time wisely:

    College students are the ultimate time wasters. So many precious hours are spent playing video games, watching TV, and sleeping till noon in college. And although these habits are fairly harmless, they can cause you to fall behind in school and jeopardize your success if you’re not careful. A huge part of college success is learning to manage your time wisely. We’ll leave it up to you to determine what is a good use of your time, but chances are it doesn’t involve playing World of Warcraft for eight hours straight.

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